TWO sites earmarked for more than 1,000 new houses on the edge of Newport fall short of national guidelines on public transport links, according to the Welsh Government.
Newport City Council is currently drawing up its new Local Development Plan (LDP), a document which lays out how and where it will commit land for building projects.
New targets mean the council has to find enough space for nearly 5,000 extra homes over the next decade or so if it is to keep up with demand for housing.
It has identified two “key” sites outside the village of Langstone, on the east of the city.
The Welsh Government, however, has noted the planned development sites “are not in general conformity” with national Future Wales “placemaking principles”.
Those principles include policies to “ensure that development is sustainably located with easy access to public transport and other public services”.
One site, to the north of Langstone, is proposed for “up to 750 homes and a local centre”.
It would include “local retail and commercial uses… to address neighbourhood needs”, and “provision of new leisure space onsite”.
The other, to the south of the village, has space for “up to 300 homes”, according to the city council.
However, the Welsh Government, in its consultation response to the council’s new LDP proposals, said both sites had “documented issues” relating to transport access and “all traffic, even into Newport” would have to use the Coldra roundabout (M4 Junction 24), where the A48, A449, Chepstow Road and motorway all converge.
“The main access corridor will be the A48 on which there is currently limited bus services,” the Welsh Government said. “The most likely outcome is that many residents will move to and from these sites by private transport, without significant improvements in the form of bus lanes or gates to access the sites.”
Newport Council’s replacement LDP is yet to be finalised, and in its submissions the Welsh Government notes its comments on the Langstone proposals are “based on the evidence currently available” and not a formal position.
In other aspects, the government was supportive of the LDP proposals, saying it had “no substantial concerns with the level of homes and jobs proposed in the plan, which is considered to be in general conformity with Future Wales”.